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Man Utd finally agree deal to sign Dan Ashworth ahead of spending spree

Manchester United have finally hired Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director after months of negotiations with Newcastle United, according to The Athletic.

Ashworth’s arrival at Old Trafford was held up by disagreements over compensation between the two clubs.

However, after over four months on gardening leave, a deal has been struck and the 53-year-old is set to begin his new role immediately.

Ashworth was willing to take Newcastle to arbitration to expedite the move with United reportedly prepared to cover any legal costs.

Ashworth will oversee football performance, recruitment and operations for the Red Devils.

He will be in charge of technical director Jason Wilcox while reporting to Sir Dave Brailsford, who is leading a strategic review of United’s footballing structure under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s co-ownership.

Ashworth’s reputation for shrewd player recruitment and building strong footballing structures precedes him. United fans will hope he can be a key part of the club’s revival.

Man United have filled the crucial positions in the club’s hierarchy and are working on a new contract for manager Erik ten Hag. The club’s summer transfer plans are also beginning to take shape.

United have identified Joshua Zirkzee as the man to provide competition for Rasmus Hojlund in attack.

The Dutch centre-forward fired Bologna into the Champions League with 11 goals and four assists in 34 Serie A appearances,

Another crucial squad gap United need to fill is in the defensive midfield area. Casemiro is leaving this summer and United want Paris Saint-Germain’s Manuel Ugarte to replace him.

The combative 23-year-old had a poor season in Ligue 1, but Man United are offering him an escape route from the French capital club.

United continue to push for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite but must increase their offer to get them to consider a deal.

They are hoping to partner Branthwaite and Matthijs De Ligt in central defence next season.

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